Currently reading: Hyundai set to replace i30
New Golf rival gets latest family look; on sale early 2012 following Frankfurt debut

An all-new Hyundai i30 is set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt show next month prior to going on sale early next year.

The Volkswagen Golf-rivalling hatchback is designed and engineered for the European market at Hyundai’s technology centre at Russelsheim, Germany.

The new i30 echoes the dimensions and major mechanical features of its predecessor, launched in 2008, but company insiders say it gets much closer to displaying a settled Hyundai family look than the outgoing model.

European design chief Thomas Burkle describes the new style as “fluidic sculpture”. The recently launched i40 also adopts this design style, introduced with the ix-onic concept car at Geneva in 2009. The new i30 also has “jewel-like lights” and a distinctive hexagonal grille, both of which are also becoming part of Hyundai’s family look.

Read our first drive review of the Hyundai i40

Now read about the Hyundai ix-onic concept

Allan Rushforth, Hyundai’s British senior vice-president and chief operating officer, expects the new i30 to strengthen the model’s position as the firm’s best-seller in Europe, helping to push total European sales to 500,000 units by 2013. It is also expected to “play a significant role” in developing the marque’s brand image.

Hyundai says it can’t yet predict exactly how i30 production will expand, but has confirmed that the Czech Republic plant that builds it — and several other models for Europe — is to be expanded from an initial volume of 200,000 cars a year to around 300,000. The i30 plant is 90 miles from sister marque Kia’s plant in Slovakia, where the mechanically related Cee’d, another Golf competitor, is made. 

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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